New law targets ways to combat gun crime in Chicago, state
Repeat gun crime offenders will face tougher sentencing thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on June 23, according to a press release from Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), who attended the signing.
The measure also creates a First-Time Weapon Offender Diversion Program to address the underlying reasons young adult might have committed the offense and a Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force in the Illinois State Police. The task force will be dedicated to combatting gun violence and other violent crime in Chicago and around the state.
“Seven hundred and sixty-two murders and 4,331 shooting victims in Chicago last year is simply horrific, it must stop!” Bellock, who co-sponsored the bill, said in the statement. “None of us enjoy turning on the news each day to hear there was another death on the streets of Chicago as a result of gang violence. This bill will help curb that violence and crack down on the criminals who keep committing these heinous crimes.”
According to the press release, the bill is meant to combat gang violence and change the way gun offenders are rehabilitated and punished.
“Oftentimes our first time offenders are thrown into jail without any rehabilitation, resulting in first time offenders becoming second and third time offenders,” Bellock said in the statement. “After first time offenders serve their time, we want them to realize they have a choice to live a life of crime or be a contributing member of society. I am hopeful this new law will not only reduce crime on the streets of Chicago, but throughout the state as well.”
Others in attendance for the signing included Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Rep. Michael P. McAuliffe (R-Chicago),.